Saturday, May 31, 2014

Boring Exercise Updates

Today officially marks the end of 41 weeks of exercise which means a minimum of six days a week (not times a week, but DAYS, people...days)and a minimum of 35 minutes each day. Sometimes more!

I can pretty much say it's a normal part of my life, however, I hesitate to make it sound like I've got this because I know how easy it is to lose a good habit.

My Personal Little Victory

I keep records of things. I keep a record of all of my exercise. I also keep a record of my weight, because it has been my life-long challenge. My parents have used terms like "chubby" for me since I was five. Or younger. I have never been "normal." I have never been "slim." I have always been "overweight." Always.

I would like to triumphantly announce that I exercised every single school day of the 2013-2014 school year!!! Never missed!!! Four-thirty a.m. and I are BEST BUDS!!!

I know I need to pay more attention to the nutrition side of the game. I will turn my attention there. Still, with all that effort toward exercise, one would think the pounds would melt away. Not so. I have been trying to be really happy about my total weight loss during the school year which is 17.9 pounds. Yes, there have been some ups and downs, but I am 17.9 pounds DOWN...WHILE TEACHING!!! Still, that old negative voice whispers, "Should have lost more!"

So I looked at my data and this is what I learned after comparing my weights on the First Day of School and the Last Day of School for the last 7 school years:

2007-2008 school year: Gained 11 pounds.

2008-2009 school year: Gained 16 pounds.

2009-2010 school year: Gained 9 pounds.

2010-2011 school year: Gained 26 pounds.

2011-2012 school year: Gained 16 pounds.

2012-2013 school year: Gained 6.3 pounds.

2013-2014 school year: LOST 17.9 pounds!!!

I'm off to the pool to exercise!

Friday, May 30, 2014

Empty, Empty

Made it through the last day.

K called and reported that he was making macaroni and cheese for dinner..."so I can have leftovers for lunch tomorrow. And I'm gonna fry up some Spam for a sandwich. What did you have for dinner?"

I answered, "I opened a can of pork and beans."

He kept on, "Anything else?"

I said, "Saltines and peanut butter."

How does that phrase go? Everyday's a holiday and every meal's a banquet with you, Dear!

But when we're apart...

Thursday, May 29, 2014

The Yodeling Song from Sound of Music

Tomorrow is another Last Day of School. I am so emotional. I love these children with all of my heart.

I have been praying my guts out for a certain boy, hoping he will continue moving toward success (I've seen SUCH growth!). I worry about each one. Some of our students will be splitting off to the new school (just one year, then back together for 7th grade). I wonder how this might affect friendships.

A couple of students said goodbye today because, and I quote, "My mom thinks it's lame that school is only an hour and a half on the last day." Really? I think it's lame that students can't show up for an hour and a half. No, I did not say that out loud to anyone. Something to be said for "finishing right."

Don't they know?

Don't they know I still take attendance on the last day? Don't they know there's a report card? Don't they know I have a little present for each one? Can't they assume I have some Last Day of School traditions that are fun as well as powerful? Would they even suspect that I cover all of my politically correct bases by forcing the children to take a moment to say a real "goodbye" to me? Forced and PC because I allow them to choose the method: handshake, high five, or hug (psst...please choose hug, if it doesn't make you too uncomfortable).

Don't they know these are the only children I have?

"Mrs. Kyburz, can I tell you something?" Fifty times a day, every day, and I really love her.

Kids bursting into song (or my Irish dancer bursting into Irish dance). Could be Journey. Could be One Direction. Or One Republic. Could be a Hope of America song. Perhaps a commercial jingle. Could be that yodeling song from Sound of Music.

Brain teaser group games. Mancala champions of the world. Down by the banks of the hanky... Rock, paper, scissors.

"Can I help you with anything?" Honestly, if their parents could SEE how much they love to help at school!

Tattling reports of "he said/she said." The age old, "We were just playing." Or..."I don't have a partner." The kid who shows up with a mask when nobody else does because that's just the way he rolls.

Sidewalk chalk on the playground that reads, "Mrs. Kyburz is the best 5th Grade Teacher ever!" I gulped a little because I'm sure the other fifth grade teachers have equally devoted fans.

Yes, go ahead and have another Life Saver. It's the end of the year, what do I care?

What do I care? I care a lot. Got a meaningful thank you note from a mom today. Just read an email from a dad that ended like this: thankyouthankyouthankyou. Cried like a baby when my husband asked about my day. I am a mess.

That grin. That scrunched up face. That kid who never has their planner ready for me to check. That girl with her nose in a book perpetually. Perpetually! And now that boy. He's caught "the disease" as well! Friends whose faces light up when they get to be on the same team or in the same group. The matching skirts. The giggles. Especially the boy giggles.

I gave them their scores from the writing exam (standardized testing). They are the best scores I've ever seen on that test! I am so proud of these hard-working students! I tried to choose the most accurate words I know for praise. I tried to convey my pleasure as well as my awe.

I tried. I tried all year. Made some mistakes. Saw some success.

And after our short time together tomorrow, they are no longer mine. They fledge from my nest. All I can do is chirp out a little encouragement.

What am I saying?

They will always be mine.

Take That, Pinterest

I don't craft, but I understand THEME.

I have had so many amazing parent volunteers this year. I wish I could take them all out to lunch. But I can't.

I decided to "give it a whirl" for my main room mother. I found the tea jar and had so much fun filling it. Yes, I was inspired by the citrus slices on the outside, so I went for orange, lemon, and lime on the inside (except for the German chocolate...that was a green wrapper, so that was close enough to lime for me). The Milano cookies are orange flavored, the taffy is orange cream flavored, and I just enjoyed putting it all together.

Not bragging. Not boasting. Just sayin' that once in awhile, I almost approach the world of crafting and decorating. Almost.

The note said, "Time to have yourself a little tea party!"

One Week's Difference

Here's the one week difference in the size of the snowbank outside our front door in YELL. Thank you, Sun!

Memorial Day Weekend in the Park

Still chasing that ranger around. We enjoyed Memorial Day weekend together by attending church at Old Faithful and hiking a couple of shorter trails. There are still charred remains standing from the 1988 fire in the park. I thought it was symbolic of the whole feel of the holiday...many analogies could be I began with the photo of that particular soldier.

Next is a picture of some stranger who seems to be lucky. If he's willing to get that close to a bison, I'm surprised he's lived this long. Along with the wildlife, I might just make it my hobby this summer to photograph some of the unwise choices people make.

Here's our selfie!

We enjoyed our walk to Harlequin Lake (Harlequin is a type of duck). The lily pads were growing all over the place. We did lots of clapping and shouting as we hiked around blind curves in the trail. I'm noticing that the ranger had his bear spray in the side pocket of his backpack. Good thing I carry mine in my front pocket...and that I'm the one hiking in front...

The weather was splendid! We met up with Ranger Anna and a couple of her friends as they passed through. So good to see dear friends!

Tuesday, May 27, 2014

Family Gospel Study

I wake up early and go, go, go all day long--not at high speed, but I don't sit on the couch and watch tv after work or anything like that. In the evening, I keep going until I drop out of society. The signals are steady and clear: suddenly incoherent, crankiness sets in, and I can be in the middle of some activity only to abruptly say, "I'm going to bed now." And then I go to bed. Straight away. I climb in and conk out. K says I'm often asleep before my head hits the pillow. The end. All of this makes my husband chuckle. As he's told me a million times, "I've never seen anything like it." Other people have witnessed some of this in me. One of my nanny families in Connecticut could not stop remarking about how when I reach the end of my day, that's it.

I also talk a lot in my sleep. This is highly amusing to my husband, but to my knowledge, he has never recorded me sleep talking. I have been known to fall dead asleep while praying aloud during family prayer. The mister and I always say our evening prayers and once it was my turn so I began. I "paused" in the middle somewhere and that was it. K thought I was deep in thought or feeling some strong emotions or just pondering how to word the desires of my heart. Nope. I was sleeping! While kneeling. He began to chuckle quietly until he couldn't contain it any longer. I briefly woke up to his hearty laughter.

So I arrived in YELL on Saturday evening around 6:15 p.m. We went to dinner after joining the YA Association and then we drove out to Sedge Bay. We played a game of Yahtzee and the yawning began with ferocity. It is the end of the school year, People! I seem to be spending my weekends driving 900 miles to chase that ranger around! I am tired.

K began family gospel study and I guess I was on my way to dreamland. I was still "awake" and dressed but not very "with it." His topic was Christlike Attributes. He asked, "So Jody, can you think of any Christlike attributes?" No response from me, but my eyes were open. He prompted, "M...E..." He was going for "meekness." My brain must have caught hold of something, I swear I don't remember this, and my mouth popped off with, "Meanness?" K laughed. He pushed, "No, Jody, meanness is NOT a Christlike attribute. Can you think of another word?" So I guess the next thing that came out was, "Naughty?" More laughter on K's end. Finally, he said, "Come on. Let's get you to bed."

Sunday, May 18, 2014

Dining with Raven

Raven showed up to our picnic lunch at the Firehole River, but we did not give in to all of the charm and flirting. Kissed TR goodbye here and drove toward Madison. Had to take one shot of a bison because they are iconic of Yellowstone. Besides, I'm beginning to think of them as handsome creatures with their massive, bushy heads and horns.

Midway Geyser Basin/Grand Prismatic Spring

We just loved our time together at Grand Prismatic Spring. Lovely, lovely.

Black Sand Basin on a Sunday Morning

Stopped off at Black Sand Basin. Bison poop just really makes a photo, don't you think? The wind was really blowing so when you walked through steam, you really felt it!

Pumice Point and West Thumb

Church starts at 10:00 a.m. in West Yellowstone, Montana which is 1.5 hours away from Fishing Bridge. We didn't go. We spent some quality time together due to the fact that we'll be living apart for a few weeks. TR packed a picnic and we headed off to West Thumb is separate vehicles. I'm sure the snow banks will be diminished by the time I return.

Pumice Point is 23 miles round trip from Fishing Bridge. I went there sometimes last season because I could get more bars on my phone. I ordered my mom's headstone from Pumice Point. I found out my sister was going to have quadruple bypass surgery at Pumice Point. West Thumb might just be my favorite geyser basin/thermal feature area in the park, but I can't say for sure (they are all so good)! I love the seagull photo. Everything seems to be doing the Spring Fling in the park this time of year. It was such a pleasant morning.

Lake Butte Overlook

After the napping grizzly, we drove up to Lake Butte Overlook. I love the first photo showing the shadows of the trees--oh the LINES in that photo. I am once again a "carry-bear-spray-wherever-I-go" woman. Mine doesn't expire until 2016.

Everyone Naps

So while we were out Mary Bay way, we noticed a couple of cars had pulled over and people were setting up their really huge spotting scopes--a sure sign of wildlife. People usually do this for bears and wolves so our guess was "bear."

We parked at the pullout and walked a ways down the road. There was a nice couple from India with a fabulous scope and they confirmed there was a bear. They described the location and we understood them to mean the bear was under the FAR tree. Nope. The bear was only about 25 yards away, which is way too close! TR had his camera with big lens and zoom thinking it was the far tree...

Well, a car pulled up to ask what everyone was looking at. A man approached that car and said "bear." The dog inside didn't much care for the approaching man and began to bark loudly and repeatedly. Bless that little dog! His barking made the bear pop its head up and look around. I instinctively began to step away, headed for the safety of the car (I just don't mess around and this thing was only 25 yards away--you should never be closer than 100 yards!). However, it didn't stand up, so I risked a couple of shots. The driver with the dog inside rolled up his window and drove off. Hence, the grizzly said, "I'm going back to sleep!" We were SO LUCKY to safely view that animal. HOORAY! We get to live in Yellowstone!!!